30 March 2009

The Cake is NOT a Lie

I wished for a Portal cake, and my beautiful wife and three youngest delivered it to my work today.
Aperture Science and GLaDOS have nothing over you, sweetheart. Thanks for a wonderful gift; you rock my world!

26 March 2009

Andrew the Bon-Diggity Dancer

Andrew inherited Gwen's dancer genes. And it shows... as before he reached 18 months, he was bustin' some serious dance moves in our living room, to the beat of the Cheetah Girls.

Pay special attention to the part where the Cheetah Girls kick in some a cappella; he drops to all fours and gets his groove on! Very impressive!

Go Drew... Go Drew... Go Drew...

You'll see my daughters dancing in here too... Kimmie is a little Diva and I think her jamming-out skills have rubbed off on Andrew a little too.


25 March 2009

Not-So-Happy New Year

I had to return to make my return to blogging a happy one by posting about Mandi's baptism. This post is out of order some, but that's ok... cause this one wasn't as happy.

During the Christmas season, Ryan decided to play Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer all through December. He started by falling and scraping the top layer of skin off a nice chunk of his nose. Everytime it was about to heal completely, he'd fall again to reinjure it. The worst of the three episodes that made him suffer this symptom throughout December was when he was standing on a little toy basket we keep beside our couch. He was standing up to the arm of the couch on this basket, when he lost his footing and fell face first into the heater vent grate. All I can say is: "Ryan with your nose so bright... won't you guide my sleigh tonight?!"

Ryan the Red-nosed Reindeer

It was all a precursor to a health nightmare that would begin on, you guessed it, New Year's Day. Why waste time when you can get an immediate start on the first day of the year, after all?

It began with Kimmie waking up on New Year's Day with Croup. After two visits to the instacare for Kimmie, we started getting her on the downhill; but Ryan and Andrew caught it before we could get Kimmie over hers.

If that wasn't bad enough, Ryan contracted an ear infection on top of it... so when we took the twins to the doctor, we were given Amoxicillin for both... a stronger dose for Ryan since he had the ear infection, and Andrew got his lower dosage just to make sure he didn't contract an infection too.

Well, when it rains, it pours. If that weren't enough, Ryan's little body decided to have an awful allergic reaction to the antibioitics.

Needless to say, Gwen and I rarely got sleep for the first three weeks of the new year, and it took its toll on our bodies. I ended up with Bronchitis bad enough to knock me out of work for three days, inducing some Pleurisy afterward, from which I was given steroids to try to make it go away faster, but that just started wigging my body out, so I immediately stopped taking that. Happy Happy, Joy Joy Joy!

Anyway, we're hoping we've had our fair share of illness for at least this half of the year. We're hoping for smooth sailing for a while, especially with Spring around the corner; cause we're sick of being sick. :)

23 March 2009

Mandi's Beautiful Baptism Day

There aren't many blessings more wonderful in a father's life, than that of baptizing his children. Mandi reached the age of accountability and decided she wanted to be baptized.

It was all she could talk about for about a month-and-a-half. All she wanted was to reach her birthday, so she could get baptized. She wanted to have it happen on her birthday, but she, as patiently as she could, had to wait until January to do it. It couldn't come fast enough. :)

She invited everyone dear to her, including family, friends and Primary teachers. It was such a special day for her and she was beaming from ear-to-ear the entire weekend. Mandi was baptized, confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost on Saturday; and it was beautiful.

Sunday was fast and testimony meeting and Mandi decided on her own that she wanted to get up and bear her testimony to the congregation. In Matthew 21, Jesus said, "Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?"

I think that anyone in our ward that day would attest that her testimony was that. Normally young children require the assistance of parents to help them get their feelings expressed, but Mandi walked right up to the microphone and shared the tender feelings of her heart.

I really wish that I could've entered this blog entry back then while the words were fresh in my mind, because I was brought to tears it touched me so. Alas, my crazy busy life kept me away and now I must rely on the now-somewhat-faded memory of a couple months ago.

She expressed how warm and wonderful she felt inside as she got baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and how it made her want to do good and live her life as best she could to please her Heavenly Father. She mentioned how grateful she is that Jesus Christ gave His life for us that we might be forgiven of our sins and return to live with He and Heavenly Father again someday. She said it makes her really happy inside to know that she can be forgiven when she makes mistakes and can have the Holy Ghost help her feel happy again.

I really can't do it justice; her words were inspired.

I also had decided to bear my testimony and we had walked to the pulpit together to share them. A little cute sidenote I have to share... Our good friends Nathan and Jen Horner, who lived across the hall from our West Jordan apartment years ago, live in our current ward and their awesome son Timothy had also come up to bear his testimony. He sat down to wait his turn before Mandi and I had, but was trying to insist that we go first. He's so awesome. :) I had to keep convincing him to go first, because I wanted to follow-up after the kids so he wouldn't have to wait for my long-windedness. He kept insisting... but finally gave in. What a cutie...

Anyway, I found myself a little speechless (hard to believe, I know) after Mandi's spiritual edification and I had to pause, choked up, for a moment before I could share mine. It was definitely a "Parent Payoff" day, and I count myself blessed to have been a part of it. God certainly saved his choicest for this generation.

I'm grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my own life. And while I'm far from perfect, as you all know, I'm glad to know that my elder brother loves me enough to have suffered for all of my imperfections and has the patience to endure while I learn how to live as He did. I still have a long way to go, but I know He's with me all the way, especially through hard times; and I'm thankful he has blessed us with the Holy Ghost to help comfort us while we get through those.

Luckily the hardest things we're dealing with right now is trying to juggle our demanding schedules with the twins and everything else going on with the rest of the kids. My children are so precious... I don't know how the Lord saw me fit to entrust with five of his valiant spirits, and I hope that one day I'll live up to the expectations.

And moments like Mandi's baptism sure make it all worth it. You're beautiful Mandi! Mommy and I love you so much. We couldn't be more proud of you. Keep choosing the right!

Baaaad to the Bone - Shear Goodness

Don't be "sheep"ish, ewe must watch this. (I'm assuming no sheep were harmed during the filming of this YouTube video.)

Seriously though, this video is a must-see. Thank heavens for YouTube. It keeps life enjoyable.
Thanks, Russ for the link! It reminds me of the video game "Sheep" I played years ago on PC. Good times.


Addendum: I know, I know... I've been gone for months, and this is the first post I could do?! I know many have been waiting for some other entries (like a pic of Mandi's baptism; coming next) ... but this was a quick post I could throw up here quick, so enjoy whilst I get my othe catch-up posts drafted. More to come...